Student Disability Service

Equality Act 2010

Information on the Equality Act.

Protected characteristics

The Equality Act was passed in April 2010 and the first provisions became effective from 1 October 2010. The Act consolidates and streamlines previous anti-discrimination legislation which includes the Disability Discrimination Acts.

Disabled students in higher education

Universities and higher education institutions (HEIs) have legal obligations and a requirement to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity.

Unlawful discrimination

The Equality Act defines what discrimination is unlawful. This includes harassment and victimisation.

Discrimination arising from disability

The Act states how discrimination can arise from disability. There are 3 conditions listed, that if met, will mean that the University will have been found to discriminate against disabled people.

Duty to make reasonable adjustments

The University is required to take reasonable steps to ensure that disabled students can fully participate in the education and services provided for students. This means the University may be required to make 'reasonable adjustments'.

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Equality Act provisions include a Public Sector Equality Duty which covers public bodies, including most universities.

Technical Guidance on Further and Higher Education

The Equality and Human Rights Commission guidance sets out clearly what the legislation means for disabled students in further and higher education. The guidance is an authoritative source of advice for anyone who wants a rigorous analysis of the legislations detail.